What is the Church?

What is the Church?

Over the next few months we are going to be taking a break from John’s Gospel and begin to look at the Church in the book of Acts. Our key concern will be what the early Church was, and how we can conform to what Jesus has established His Church to be.

Our first question is, “What is the Church?”

The Greek word for church is “ekklesia”

Jesus chose a Greek word that had no religious connotations whatsoever. The same word is used in Acts 19 to describe people leaving their homes and businesses to gather in the theatre during a riot. The word Jesus chose for “church” is the Greek word “ekklesia.” “Ekklesia” comes from two Greek words meaning “out from” and “to call.” The word literally means “the called out ones.” It is always used to reference a group of people who have been called out for a specific purpose.

The Church is a specific group of people

The Church is not a building, a civic organization, an institution, a corporation, or an event. The church is a group of people who have been called out of their sin by Jesus Christ. The church consists of people who have been brought out of darkness and into Jesus’ light. As such, many people who attend events (“church,”) join a civic organization (“church,”) or go to a building (“church”) are not really the church. The church consists ONLY of the called out ones. The church’s identity is all those who have come out of their sin and come to Christ for His glory.

The Church’s purpose is to glorify Jesus

The purpose of the church is to glorify Jesus Christ. This is obviously done in the salvation (calling out) of the church. It is also seen in the five functions of the church. The church is to glorify God through:

  1. Worship
  2. Discipleship
  3. Fellowship
  4. The ordinances
  5. Evangelism

Application

Have you answered the call of Christ to be saved from your sins?

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